New sportswear: a Christmas Linden and two types of leggings

Here’s a little summary post for anyone with fitness resolutions and/or a need for leggings. That is definitely me and so a few weeks ago, on the spur of the moment, I decided to whip up a few pairs of leggings using Megan Nielsen’s Virginia leggings pattern, which I already made and loved, as well as a new-to-me pattern, which is free, and that is the Patterns for Pirates Peg Legs leggings (try saying that after a few beers).


And then why a Christmas Linden sweater, I hear you ask? Well, in the spirit of Xmas and with the ongoing intention of getting fitter, I entered a few of those holiday 5k runs in December, where you wear an ugly sweater, or Christmas themed clothes. I ran into a bit of a deadline and decided to speed-sew a Linden sweater in a Christmas-lights sweater knit I’d purchased for a pittance at JoAnn Fabric. Here’s a pic of me before the race wearing the sweater with my first pair of Virginia leggings. I’m already carrying a few pounds of rainwater in the Linden and by the time I finished the arms were twice as long! Good old Seattle.


I made this Linden in a ridiculous amount of time – I think an hour from start to finish – and it was my most successful in some ways. I retraced the Version A body as I’d used the wrong body by mistake last time and those few centimetres made all the difference. Apart from that, no changes to the pattern and it continues to be a solid TNT for me. (1st and 2nd versions here)


Back to the leggings part of the project! Now that I’ve used the Virginia leggings extensively for running and exercise, I feel like I can give you a longer-term view of their performance and – they’ve been marvelous. I wrote about them in detail the first time I made them here, so I won’t reiterate the nuts and bolts of this make, but I still really like the scrunched ankle and they’re very comfortable to exercise in. No slippage, rolling or splitting and I really do wear them all the time. In light of this, I decided to make a second pair in another athletic fabric from JoAnn. This is a stretchier poly/spandex fabric than the first (out of stock now) and so I ended up with a slightly looser (but not loose!) pair of leggings.


As I mentioned before, the new pattern I made was the Peg Legs leggings by Patterns for Pirates. This is a pattern I’ve heard mentioned so many times on the Facebook pages I frequent (mostly for kids’ knit fabric), but didn’t realise until recently that it was a free pattern. It has plenty of options: four lengths of shorts, bike, capri and ankle, and two rises: low/mid and high. I made two versions, both with the high rise and one with a capri length, the other ankle length. The sizing also runs from XXS to 3X, which is a fantastic range.


Even better and really rather generously, the designer has also provided a Peg Legs add-ons pack, free to download, which gives you the options of side panels, a contoured waistband and gusset, just to mention a few choices. There is also a separate Maternity Add-On for expectant mothers. It’s really very community-spirited and I applaud the owner for such a magnanimous gesture.


The construction is of course very similar for all leggings, but these ones don’t have any elastic in the waistband (the Virginias do), so I was interested to see how they held up. As I was serging the Peg Legs together, they looked alarmingly small at one point, to the extent that I went back twice and checked my sizing. Once finished though, they fit fine and are decidedly snug, but firm without the elastic, which is as you would like leggings to be! The waistband is much wider than for the Virginia leggings, and my impressions when wearing them so far are that I will probably need to make it wider still, or use the mid-rise. It’s hitting me right at the crease at the moment, so rolls a little if I’m bending over much. I am rather long-hipped though, so this is not surprising for me. I left the length of the capris as per the pattern, so you can see how they pan out in the pics.


The last pair I made in a less stretchy black cotton lycra and these are intended for daily wear rather than active wear. I used the ankle version of the Peg Legs and removed 1.5 inches from the length (as opposed to 4 inches for the Virginia leggings). Because of the lower stretch factor, these are also very snug, but in a good way. They almost act as Spanx right now, haha, but hopefully that means they’ll last me a while as they’ll take a while to bag out in that irritating way leggings do.


Overall, the Virginia leggings fit me better around the waist straight from the pattern, but the Peg Legs are also very versatile leggings and I think once I’ve cracked the perfect rise question I’ll be zipping these up too. The lack of elastic makes them such a fast sew it’ll be hard not to!

Now back to a garment I’m making for the Sewcialists Stripe theme month. I hope it turns out well! What are you working on? I still have the Morgan jeans and the #sewmystyle Sunny dress to blog, so I’ll definitely try and do that in the next few days. That’s it for now!



5 thoughts on “New sportswear: a Christmas Linden and two types of leggings

      1. I think I’ma dinosaur when it comes to the sewing machine technology available–I grew up with old Singers that pretty much went forward and back and made every mistake i made, and so this newer wave of sergers and overlock and other things I haven’t used myself are like things only big businesses used to use. I guess I just have not had the experience, but if I weren’t sort of being a lazy bum about sewing I could get the experience! ahaha!


    1. Those ones are the Virginia leggings and have a channel with elastic through it. The others are the Peg Legs with no channel or elastic. I’m sure you could recreate it on the Peg Legs by folding the waistband, sewing and inserting elastic, if that’s what you have?


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